12 vs 14 inch ibook

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by seebol, Jul 11, 2004.

  1. seebol macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2004
    Which one would I be happier with? I don't have an apple store nearby, so I can't try out these exact laptops.

    12" is cheaper (by $200! well, $160 if I upgrade the hard drive space), more portable (I don't care that much), and lasts longer on battery.

    14" has a larger display (I know that it has the same resolution, but it's nice to have larger text)

    I am going to be a college student, majoring in biotechnology. Whichever ibook i buy willl be my only computer in college. I tried a 12" notebook at the local Best Buy, and the screen isn't horrible. Will prolonged use strain my eyes? Also, the laptops were bolted down so I didn't get to try to lift any. Is the weight/portability difference so large that I wouldn't want to lug around the 14"?

    Any differences that I've missed?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

    *edit*: I will use the laptop for typing papers, surfing the web, chatting, and listening to music/watching dvds
  2. Finiksa macrumors 6502a


    Feb 23, 2003
    I have a 14" iBook and my best friend has a 12" Powerbook Rev A (which usage wise is very similar to the 12" iBook) so I've had the opportunity to compare the differences a fair bit.

    Weight wise there isn't a huge difference between them but dimensions wise the 14" seems a lot larger than the 12", it's far less portable too. I find it much more comfortable to pick up the 12" and walk around with it and less cumbersome to carry in a backpack etc.

    I find the screen on the 14" to be a little blurry compared to the 12" just because of the larger pixel size. The 12" seems a lot crisper and I also don't find it uncomfortable to work with text on it for long periods of time. However if you have poor eyesight the 14" may be preferable.

    The iBook's speakers are pretty weak so it's not ideal for listening to music but if you're hooking it up to a stereo it'll be perfect for music. Watching DVDs would probably be more enjoyable on the 14" just for the extra space but if you're hooking it up to a TV either would be fine.

    Don't get me wrong I love my 14" iBook but my next one will be a 12" just for the portability factor.
  3. oreo macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2004
    Kent, UK
    I was going to get the 12" iBook but when I saw the 12" & 14" next to each other I prefer the 14". It's personal choice at the end of the day. You have to think about what you are going to use it for. I'm planning to use mine to watch DVD's on, as well as transport it to university.

    The best bet to make sure you get the right one, is to look at 12" & 14" together.
  4. thehuncamunca macrumors 6502

    Jul 9, 2003
    definately go look and use both of them in person, i was going to get a G4 12" powerbook but after using it, it's just too tiny despite the fact that it and the 14" ibook have the same number of pixels

  5. leftbanke7 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2004
    West Valley City, Utah
    I am having this same dilemna. Getting a 12" will save me cash for RAM and Final Cut Express but getting a 14" allows me to get a SuperDrive which I will need but I won't be able to afford FCE or RAM. I can live with using iMovie but RAM is necessary. Being that iDVD won't work with anything other than a SuperDrive, I will have to buy a DVD authoring program in addition to an external DVD burner which will cost about as much as the 14" but, again, leaving me short on cash for FCE and RAM. Any suggestions?
  6. JzzTrump22 macrumors 65816

    Apr 13, 2004
    New York
    I would say get the 14". 12" is definatly too small unless you like it that way. There are more pixels in the powerbooks than the iBooks, thats why the iBook seemed less clear compared to the PB. This is going to be a really hard decision for you because you don't have the abiblity to actually see and try these notebooks in person. I would go with the 14" because having the bigger screen really makes a nice difference sometimes.
  7. seebol thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 7, 2004
    How do I do that? There are no shops that sell macs anywhere in my city. The closest thing is Best Buy, which sells ipods hehe. I looked at the 12" and the 14" screens on wintel computers at BB, but I couldn't use them for prolonged periods of time or carry them around cause they were bolted down. What do you users of the ibook have to share about those issues?
  8. soccerfan macrumors member

    Aug 14, 2002
    I went through the same process - I never even considered the 12' but in the end, that's what I'm getting.

    Similarly equiped, the 12" pb and the 14" ibook are about the same price (for students, not sure for everyone else)

    The screen real-estate is identical, just a bit smaller - but what you trade in size, you recoup in sharpness (to my eyes anyway).

    The PB is faster, has a better video card which will support coreimage.

    I figure, unless you really can't stand that size screen, go with the PB.
  9. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    I see a larger screen with the same res. as a total waste of money. there is also the downside of a noticeably more blurry screen with the 14" I saw the 12 and 14 next to each other and bought the 12 without a second thought. unless you really need a superdrive buy the 12".
  10. turbodub macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
    was in the same boat...my 12" ibook is on its way...


    I had the same situation on my hands a couple weeks ago. I had a 14" ibook G3, but its LCD busted (long story; it's my fault). Anyways, I couldn't decide if I should get another 14" ibook (G4 this time) or downsize to the 12". I haven't had any issues with my 14" ibook regarding portability and such, in fact, I always found it ultra-portable compared to my friends' laptops. I really only considered the 12" ibook because it was $200 cheaper.

    Anyways, I know you don't have this luxury, but I went to a local apple reseller and looked at the two side-by-side. Man, the 12" screen is so much brighter and sharper. After like 30 seconds my mind was made up. It honestly looked like a world of difference. I started playing with the 14"er's settings to make sure contrast wasn't wrong or something. The 12" looked that much better. Then I opened up safari and word and starting playing around, just to be sure that I could live with the smaller screen. It seemed like it wasn't going to be a problem. In fact, I figured that I would choose the 12" screen over the 14" regardless or portability because it looked that much nicer.

    So, after having owned a 14" ibook for over 2 years, I never had any complaints about portability or size. It was great actually, I felt like it was ultra-portable. The 12" is everything the 14" is, plus its smaller and cheaper. Can't go wrong!

    I think, unless you need the superdrive, go with the 12" ibook. If you need a superdrive, go with the 12" pbook. Basically, I'd steer clear of the 14", it's the same number of pixels, just bigger. That means the screen isn't as sharp or bright.

    Sorry for the long post, but I hope this helped.


  11. MikeLaRiviere macrumors regular

    May 25, 2004
    12 Inch

    I had a 12 inch iBook and recently sold it for a 12 inch PowerBook (my school wanted a faster processor than the iBook had). I can't stress enough how great the 12 inch model is. At the Apple store (just yesterday, in fact), I've taken a look at the 14 inch iBook. Firstly, I find it far less aesthetically pleasing than the 12 inch. Second, it is definitely heavier. Third, the pixel density on the 12 inch screen can't be beat; as I type right now, I can't discern any pixels. If you're majoring in biotech, you might want to consider getting a PowerBook for the greater power, increased longevity, and the fact that its graphics card will be supported by 10.4's Core Image (the next operating system's eye candy). Either computer's great though; I loved my iBook when I had it.

    Definitely get the 12 inch. To the poster considering the 14 inch for the Superdrive, I would advise him or her to consider the PowerBook 12 inch with Superdrive. To both of you: remember to get the educational discount, it knocks quite a bit off the bottom line.

    Mike LaRiviere
  12. leftbanke7 macrumors 6502a


    Feb 4, 2004
    West Valley City, Utah
    I have looked at the 12" PB, however, I am limited to about 1500.00 and want to get some RAM. To get similar spec'd 'Books, here are the edu prices:

    #1. 12" PBook: 1.33Ghz, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth, SD - 1599.00
    #2. 12" iBook: 1Ghz, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth, CD - 1182.00
    #3. 14" iBook: 1Ghz, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth, SD - 1540.00
    #4. 14" iBook: 1.2Ghz, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth, SD - 1624.00
    #5. 12" PBook: 1.33Ghz, Airport Extreme, Bluetooth, CD - 1399.00

    #2 seems to fit my budget best but having to go buy an external DVD burner and a DVD authoring program will probably add on around 200.00-300.00. Perhaps I should write a letter to Apple saying that iDVD should play nice with other DVD Burners. What seems most agreeable is to buy #3 and just grin and bear it until I can afford to upgrade the RAM and buy Final Cut Express.
  13. blue&whiteman macrumors 65816


    Nov 30, 2003
    if you are willing to spend 1540 then you would be nuts not to spend 60 more and get the 12 pb. for video editing the extra power it offers would for sure make a difference. faster ram, 33% faster cpu and 20% faster bus. you also get much better graphics with built in (no open firmware hack needed) screen spanning which would come in handy for video editing. I assume you already have a crt so for 60 more you also get dual monitors on top of the other advantages. the 2" smaller screen is not a downfall in this case.

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